Leading with digital in an age of supercomplexity

Main Article Content

Lawrie Phipps
Donna M Lanclos


Across education all aspects of practice, including teaching, research, public engagement and administration, are taking place increasingly against a digital backdrop. As digital becomes widely recognized as both key element of enabling institutional change, and creating challenges for all institutional activities, Jisc have developed a digital leaders course to engage delegates with their own digital practices, and help them in applying tools and methods to both support their own development and leverage digital in their organization. This short paper reports on the initial courses and some of the delegate reactions, drivers to participate in the course and it also outlines the structure of the course and the underpinning approaches taken.


Barnett’s definition of supercomplexity, a time of uncertainty, unpredictability, challenge and change frames the nature of the education landscape faced by institutions well. However, through the digital leaders course, Jisc seeks to both frame the challenges created by digital, and also show digital as providing the capacity and capabilities to respond to supercomplexity.


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How to Cite
Phipps, L., & Lanclos, D. M. (2017). Leading with digital in an age of supercomplexity. Irish Journal of Technology Enhanced Learning, 3(1), 1–11. https://doi.org/10.22554/ijtel.v2i2.22
Short Reports
Author Biographies

Lawrie Phipps, Jisc

Lawrie Phipps is a senior co-design manager in Jisc’s research and development directorate. His current portfolio contains work in student experience, technology enhanced learning, digital leadership and change management. Previously working for the Leadership Foundation for Higher Education, and leading their work on the Changing Learning Landscape Programme, he now leads Jisc’s work on Digital Leadership. His previous work includes social media in education, institutional efficiency, and accessibility for disabled students. Lawrie is a former Chair of the Staff and Educational Development Association, and a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.  

Donna M Lanclos, University of North Carolina, Charlotte

Donna Lanclos is an anthropologist who has made the people who inhabit academia her particular interest since 2009.  She has conducted fieldwork in universities in the US, UK, and Ireland, and her work has informed institutional decisions around digital and physical places, policies, and services.  In addition to her research around the practices and motivations of students, professors, librarians, and other academic staff, she writes and conducts workshops to develop and deepen digital practices, and to introduce and encourage ethnographic practices in institutional settings.


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